Special offer for Great War Group Conference in Brighton 2023 – See below!
So finally, my first book about the Swedish born soldiers, who fought and fell in the Great War, at the Western Front, is almost finished! It is ready for the printer, and the first copy will be finished for printing next week!
This book is about those Swedish born soldiers who fought and fell in the Great War and are buried or Commemorated in Belgium. The book describes my passion, project and my research, Swedish emigration to the countries they served for, and small stories about those 48 soldiers who fought in WW1 at the Western Front, fell and are buried or commemorated in Belgium.
On October 20th to 22nd, 2023, I will participate in the Great War Group Conference in Brighton, and I will be able to bring a limited amount of books, to bring over to those who wants to buy my book, and have it handed over to them at the conference.
In this case it is only possible to pay in advance, so I don’t have to handle any payments at the conference!
This one time special offer for Brighton Conference is:
If you will visit the conference, and want me to bring your copy, email me on the email below, to get the special offer payment link! The payment will be able to do with PayPal and Google Pay or card through Stripe!
As my space on the plane will be limited it will be first come, first served!
For those who are not able to visit the conference, the book will shortly be available here on my website, through the “shop” link in the main menu. It will be available to order on demand within two to three weeks, if everything goes according to plan.
Sometimes a movie with photos and text can bring a lot when it comes to understand a subject. In this case I decided to do a short video about those Swedes who fought and fell for the French Foreign legion in the Great War. I also chose to include some of the other Swedes who participated and survived.
You can find the video in the website area to the right. Thank you for watching.
I have now developed some new functions on my webpage and now you can find the possibility to use the links about the soldiers in the Main menu, and through those find that the list are searchable and can be filtered.
I can be a nice function for those who are visiting the FWW battlefield cemeteries and want to know how many Swedish born soldiers there are in that specific cemetery.
Below you find a screenshot of how it looks now.
The links in the screenshot below are now updated with new functions.
When I started this project, I said to myself that one day I will write a book about my research. During the process it has turned out that it will probably be several books, and maybe one book in the end, about the research in itself.
Right now I am in the middle of producing the first book of several in a serie of guidebooks.
The first book will contain information about those Swedish born soldiers who fought and fell at the Western Front in Belgium. In the book you will be able to follow in the footsteps of the Swedes, where they were born in Sweden to the place where they fell and are buried.
The focus will be on the soldiers and not so much about the battles in which they fought, even if it it will some information about that as well.
Hopefully the book will be finished in the beginning of 2023.
I have a lot of data in my database, about all, so far, 425 Swedish born soldiers who fought and fell at the Western Front in the Great War. I decided to combine some of the data and put it together in another context.
In this case I have looked up data about where they lived when they were born in Sweden, and to which place they moved to, when they emigrated. I have decided to put the data into Google Earth Map projects, to get a picture of where they lived before they went over to thye Western Front. First out to be finished so far are the soldiers who fought for the American Expeditionary Forces, at this moment 236 soldiers.
You can click on the photo below to reach the project in itself, where you can click on the soldiers names, and see a map over where they lived in Sweden, and in some cases also a photo of the soldier. You have to have Google Earth program installed to be able to see the project.
Still under development
The next project I am working on is putting the Swedish soldiers who emigrated to the British North America (Canada) and fought and fell for the Canadian Expeditionary Forces in a similar Google Earth Project, that shows where they lived In Canada before they went over to France. You can reach the project by clicking on the photo below. The Project is still under construction.
I will try to put in all the 92 confirmed canadian soldiers from those 105 I have in my research on the map, and I will try to find and confirm those soldiers that I haven’t been able to confirm through Swedish church books yet.
…And here they fell, those who fought for the Commonwealth
By clicking on the photo you will be taken to my Google Earth project that shows where those Swedish born soldiers, who fought for the commonwealth, fell and are buried. Here you will also find more information about each individual.
In the main menu above you will also find the link “Virtual tour on map” which will take you to some of the projects seen here on this page, but also one who tells you about around 100 Swedish born soldiers who fell in the Meuse-Argonne offensive.
Just let me know if there are any questions by contacting me thorugh the contact form in the main menu.
During this week I am looking through some names that I haven’t been able to confirm in the Swedish Church books, to actually be those individuals they say they are.
Swedish born soldier Charles Anderson is one of them. If I go back to my created “ww1 Swedish names convention” it can be a Karl Andersson. But both Karl, Carl and the surname Andersson is one of the most common names in Sweden, even back at those times. I decided to try to find more information about him.
This is what I know about our Charles Anderson so far. He claim to be born in Helsingborg in Sweden in December 29, 1888. In his Canadian registration forms he doesn’t mention any Next of Kin from his family, only a friend named Pete Mcdonald. Further down in his papers he is writing his Military Will to a Miss Lydia Smith, Hastings street West No 5, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. There is no information about the relation between Charles And Lydia.
The only thing I can use in this case is the Place of Birth (PoB) as he says is Helsingborg, and also his Date of Birth (DoB). I have found one individual born in Helsingborg, with the correct DoB, in Helsingborg, with the name Charles, and also has some similar notes in the church book, which I so often find on other soldiers that I have in my database.
He is a sailor, as many Swedish born soldiers were, before they went over to their new home countries and became soldiers to fight in the Great War. There is also some notes about that he is absent. He is also removed from the files in Helsingborgs Naval Corps, due to his absence.
His name is Charles Otto Waldemar Jörgenson. Right now it is only one of his names, Charles, DoB and PoB that matches this Charles Anderson. I have tried to find more information about this Charles Otto Waldemar, but it has been difficult. Maybe he finally stopped in Canada and decided to become a citizen after all his travels around the world? We will probably never know. One more document that may indicate that this is Charles Anderson is the registration of his death. In the Swedish Church books he is finally declared dead in 1943, which can explain that his relatives never received any information about his death, as they were not mentioned as Next of Kin.
Even if Charles Anderson is Charles Otto Waldemar or not, I have looked into his military service. Charles served as a soldier in 2nd Canadian Tunneling Coy, as I understand also was a part of 2nd canadian Division. The unit were formed in Alberta and British Columbia and this Company moved to France and into the Ypres sector for instruction. Shortly afterwards, in April 1916, relieved 172nd Company between Tor Top, Armagh Wood and St Eloi. (link)
When reading the diary from the date of Charles Anderson death, which is March 10, 1918, it is mentioned that one O.R (Other Ranks) is killed that day, and that person is according to the diary buried in Wieltje, Nort-East of Ieper, Belgium. Charles is buried at Wieltje at Oxford Road Cemetery. Charles can be the O.R that is mentioned in the diary. In the diary it is also mentioned some places where the unit worked those actual days. Those places are named “Bremen” and “Jackdaw”.
If I search for those places in some trench maps I find “Bremen Redoubt” a bit East of Wieltje, which could mean that they moved to that area and worked. This must be just before the German Spring Offensive which starts March 21. The other place, “Jackdaw” is connected to several places, mainly in the Zillebeke area. Below you can see some snippets from some trench maps, but not from the exact period in 1918. You can also see a map showing the area which the Germans took back in the Spring Offensive, marked with red lines, and also a red marked area which explains the area of the other trench maps.
I really hope I can find more information about this Charles Anderson, if he is connected to Charles Otto Waldemar or not, future will tell. The work in the tunnels must have been very stressful, especially during those countermeasures against German tunnel diggers. They performed a very dangerous work.
As mentioned above, Charles Anderson is buried at Oxford Road Cemetery. He was granted leave and returned to his duty February 11th, 1918, and one month later he was killed by shrapnel. I will visit him later on this summer, to take photos of the area where he worked and where he is buried. May Charles rest in peace.
I have now extended my research to also include those Swedes who fought on the Western Front, fell there and were buried there, but later on reburied in Sweden, as their relatives wanted their sons to come home to the mother soil.
You will find it in the “soldiers” link in the main menu. So far I have only located photos of the headstones in Sweden from three of the soldiers, but I hope I will locate more of them, when visiting their old home parish. Hopefully they will still be standing there.
In my research I cover Swedish born soldiers, but quite often I find other soldiers who are born in other Nordic countries, and it is always interesting to put the data that I have found into a context which makes the events more interesting from a historical perspective.
Like in this case. I was skimming through some casaulty cards from those who fell in the Great War when they fought for the American Expeditionary Forces.
I found this card from a Danish born soldier, John Rees. The thing that cought my eye was the short description about his bravery in battle.
He was awarded for extraordinary heroism in action, September 29, 1918, when he fought in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. He survived the specific situation, but could have been part of those who supported 32nd Division in the area around the German Kriemhilde-Stellung, when he fell in October 9, 1918.
For his actions he received the Distinguished Service Cross, and the the words below is attached to this recognition.
In my mind I ask myself if any of those Swedish born soldiers, who also fought the same day as John Rees, and also in the same unit, 91st Division, 361st Regiment, AEF, knew about eachother. Maybe they participated in the same attacks, in the area south of Gegnes, and saw or heard any of those heroic actions John Rees went through? Sadly those Swedes fell in the situation that day of September 29, 1918.
Those three Swedes were Carl A Nelson, Carl M Carlson and Claus E Nygren. Below you see a screenshot from my project at Google Earth, where the unit is assessed to have been that day.
There are some documents that connects John Rees to Denmark, and I have found them on Ancestry. There is also some deviating facts in these archives, and these wrong facts are later on transferred to other sites, which makes it a bit difficult to confirm the data. His father’s name is mentioned on the casualty card, which I also find the facts about emigration. the The Danish town of Them in Salten, Jutland, Denmark, just south of the town of Silkeborg is also mentioned. It looks like he left Denmark from Copenhagen in 1914.
John Rees is buried at the American Cemetery in Meuse-Argonne Below there is a photo of John, and in some archives this photo is connected to his name, but I can’t fully confirm this.
We will never know if this Dane knew any of those Swedes who fought together that day, but may all of these Nordic soldiers rest in peace.